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Playful, Offbeat, and Anti-gloom: London Designer Shares her Eclectic Home

I offer playful, offbeat, and anti-gloom interior designs that are completely unique.

I met Justine Guillermou a few years ago when she was one of my students at The Interior Design Institute. It's been an absolute joy to mentor someone who thinks totally out of the box, is not afraid of taking risks, is bold in her use of colour, questions convention and, at the same time, has a great eye for design. Justine graduated with distinction and has since then made a name for herself as an interior designer in London. Her Interior Design & Event Planning Studio Rainbow Shaker aims to literally shake things up with colour, and targets anyone whose also done with boring and bland interiors. Meet Justine below, while she takes us on a home tour through her own home in London.

Meet Justine, the creative mind behind Rainbow Shaker

Hi! I'm Justine, founder & creative mind behind Rainbow Shaker. I offer playful, offbeat, and anti-gloom interior designs that are completely unique. Back when I was an aerospace engineer, I always had to look outside of work to feed my creativity. A few years ago, I graduated from The Interior Design Institute and started my own business, putting my project management experience in the service of my creativity. I like having a very diverse skillset that I expand and strengthen continuously (#SwissArmyKnife). Above all, I am determined & I never give up before finding the perfect solution.

Today, I would like to invite you into my home in London.

Home Tour: a colourful eclectic London home

A year ago, my husband and I came across this beautiful Victorian school in East London, and I immediately felt drawn to it. I've always been attracted to buildings with old souls. When I was a child, my parents bought a 1900s cottage in Brittany that they're still working on and I've always been at the heart of the renovation works.

As soon as we got the keys, we began the hard work. Since its conversion in the 1980s, the flat had never been changed and needed to be freshened up. It got a full makeover from top to bottom, which was a chance for me to bring my own design ideas to life and put the Rainbow Shaker stamp on my new home.

From a two-bedroom apartment spread across the first and second floors, I rearranged the entire space to transform it into a three-bedroom apartment with a primary suite. That's where my classes on spatial planning from The Interior Design Institute came to use. It was very important for me to visualise the flat as a whole and rethink the circulation paths.

The home being south-west facing, one of the first thing I wanted to do was letting the light run freely in the flat to keep it bright and warm, and also to allow for energy savings. To do so, my husband and I removed most of the walls and replaced them with glass. We also got rid of the cumbersome former staircase to install a green spiral one closer to the entrance.

A common thread is very important, like I am telling a story.

In terms of design, I wanted to bring bright summery colours (blue, orange, pink, yellow, green and some notes of purple and red) to highlight the beautiful British brick work we spent so much time restoring to its original glory. It is always very important for me to have a common thread in the flat, like I was telling a story. This common thread was the use of those colours 5 main colours but using them differently from one room to another.

(Read: How to choose a paint colour scheme for your home)

Living room makeover: mixing fun colours with raw materials

When I first saw the living-room, I was in complete awe of this room's double-height ceiling and huge arched windows which gave it this beautiful volume and brightness.

One key point of my style is mixing my fun colours with raw materials like wood and metal, as well as construction materials to counterbalance them. In this room, my husband and I built a bespoke OSB sideboard which turns into a little reading nook. I love to work with this kind or material because it's not only stronger than other composite materials but also has a lower environmental impact, which makes it a better sustainable choice than real wood.

I created an accent wall which remained white to set up a colourful female empowering artwork gallery. As a final touch, I installed an electric fireplace with an industrial vibe to make the room cosier.

Creating an open-plan kitchen in a majestic space

In the former space arrangements, the kitchen was located on the mezzanine and was used only as a living-room. As a French person, I would say that the kitchen is THE most important space of the house; it's the heart of a home. So it was obvious for me to design an open-plan kitchen on the living-room in this majestic space.

My husband loves to cook and recently passed his French bakery exam. However, being 6'4 tall, he never felt at ease in the kitchen. My mission was to design a whole new kitchen completely tailored to his needs so that he can exercise his passion without worry.

I decided to go with a terracotta and lemon yellow colour palette, to make the space as warm as possible and makes it stand out from the bricks and parquet.

Creating a Memphis style pantry

I always say that you can never have too much storage, especially in the kitchen! I decided to transform one of the bathroom adjoining the kitchen into a pantry, where we would also be able to store our extensive wine collection.

In my signature design style, I love creating optical illusions with paint to change the volume of a space. In this room, I created a mural which plays with the eye and intertwines arched shapes with straight lines to create a balance, somewhat similar to the Memphis style.

For the flooring, I wanted to preserve the original hard wood parquet while fooling my guests. At first sight, you can see metal sheets used on construction sites. But it's in fact...vinyl! I chose this particular flooring for its durability and hard-wearing characteristics.

A lively and motivating multi purpose fitness room

In my free time, I enjoy doing kickboxing quite extensively. I'm a very sporty person and always take the opportunity to do a workout between two calls. I've set up my personal fitness room with all necessary sports equipment (punching dummy, fitness mats, kettle bells, dumbbells,...).

In this room, I decided to use 3 main colours: purple, yellow and orange to create a split-complementary colour palette which makes the room lively and motivating.

The room is facing south but has a very small window so I wanted to avoid darkening it when I removed the white paint from the bricks. Hence, I replaced the door with a glass one and added a window to have a through light.

Fitness room by day, guest bedroom by night

As expatriates with a large family abroad, it was mandatory for us to offer sleeping options in our home when they come to visit. However, I didn't want to give up my fitness room!

So I installed a day-bed which converts into a double one to accommodate my guests when they're here.

On this side of the room, I used the whole split-complementary colour palette for the bed sheets and cushions, but also in the geometric rainbow form on the wall to highlight the bed and make it stand out.

A bathroom to wow guests

This bathroom originally had a nice retro bath tub, which I loved, but wasn't really convenient in such a small space. I chose to replace it with a shower and moved the toilet further from the sink, on the other side of the shower.

I wanted to do something different from what I usually do and wow my guests.

As for the design, I wanted to do something different from what I usually do and wow my guests. I created an analogous colour palette by using green and blue. What I wanted to do was have 2 monochromatic sides: one painted in electric blue with the shower and toilet and another one covered in green zebra wallpaper and green paint with the sink. I also mixed patterns with the wallpaper and vinyl flooring to add texture.

The outside walls of the bathroom were completely removed and replaced with OSB to create a pocket door and accentuate the feeling of having a little cabin in the jungle.

Master bedroom makeover into a jungle cocoon

This space was formerly being used as a kitchen and dining area, which I decided to move downstairs. The staircase was removed, and we closed the space using glass walls to let the light shine through completely.

I wanted to make the room as cozy as possible and create a little jungle cocoon, to echo the guest bathroom downstairs. I used green and blue as main colours again but took a brighter tone for the blue beams and glass walls, and a darker tone for the green (forest) of the bed to make you want to jump in when you see it. Because of my husband's height, we needed to have a super king size bed. It fits just perfectly and occupies almost the entire space, which makes it the central element of the room.

As for the bedside tables, I reused some wired baskets from Mustard with a wooden shelf, that I installed on the wall to put our books and night essentials, as well as clip-on lamps.

A feminine ensuite with a geometric pop twist

We transformed the former kitchen into an ensuite which is directly connected to the main bedroom through our dressing corridor. I've always wanted to have a huge walk-in shower, so I chose this kind of design here and added a bench to allow my husband to shower without banging his head in the shower head.

For this ensuite, I wanted to bring a geometric pop twist while keeping it very feminine. I selected pink tiles from Porcelain Superstore that I arranged vertically and painted my signature patterns. My husband tiled the bathroom himself while I took care of the painting part. I added some more geometric patterns in the selected vinyl flooring and towels.

This ensuite is the only room to use red as one of its main colour. By doing so, I wanted to make this room feels unique and stand out from the rest of the flat. The red works harmoniously with the pink and gives the room a bit more elegance.

Step into my office

As I am working from home, I needed an office where I could work efficiently and welcome my clients. Hence, I transformed this former bedroom into my office which is also my craft station for sewing, crochet and woodwork.

I wanted to create a dynamic yet cozy and natural space where the original features were emphasised.

I wanted to create a dynamic yet cozy and natural space where the original features were emphasised. Hence, I used a terracotta pink that echoes the bricks and added raw elements like plywood and wicker (chairs and pendant light). The paint effect above the desk makes the ceiling feels higher and plays harmoniously with the central desk.

The light in this space is simply wonderful as the big window is facing south. To bring in as much light as possible, I removed the opposite wall and replaced it with a glass wall. On the other side I installed a catamaran net as a nook platform so I can take breaks and rest...when my cat lets me!

Tips to create a playful, offbeat, and anti-gloom interior

Do you want to recreate Justine's style? Here are her top tips!

  • It's really important to analyse the features of a room before doing an optical geometric paint shape so you know which feeling you want to give to the room.

  • When rearranging your space, you have to consider yourself living in it on a daily basis and map your general circulation patterns.

  • In my designs I always mix curves with straight lines to create a balance between 'feminine' and 'masculine'.

  • Don't be afraid to experiment with colour and paint and do something that makes you happy; you can always correct it.

  • If you're a bit skeptical about too many bright colours, start with a few accents colours and 1 or 2 additional colours in accessories.

Feeling inspired?

Visit Justine's website Rainbow Shaker to see more of her work. Perhaps you want to follow her lead and study Interior Design with The Interior Design Institute where I could be your personal tutor. Click here to read more and receive a discount.

Marieke Rijksen - Whispering Bold.jpg

Hi! Thanks for stopping by!

I am Marieke, a Dutch Australian interior designer, business executive, tutor, content creator and social media influencer.


I also write blogs on styling tips, makeovers, interior designs, food and Instagram insights.

Let the posts come to you.

I'll keep you posted!

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